School: Winfield High School
Primary Sport: Tennis
For four straight years Preeya Shah has played No. 1 doubles and No. 1 singles at Winfield, but her value goes well beyond.
"She's really been my assistant," said Winfield tennis coach, Don Ashmus, "because she's been there to help when I had to cover too much. So, she took part of the girls and I took part of the girls...I'm thankful."
However, for the first time, Shah won't take part in the upcoming State Tournament. Winfield's jump to Class AAA combined with a very tough regional has left Shah on the outside looking in. But in the big picture, playing against top-notch competition has been a good thing.
"I think it's a positive for sure," she said. "Playing tougher players makes you a better player and definitely work a lot harder. Once you get there you feel like you've earned it."
Winfield isn't exactly known for its tennis, but Shah does know what it's like to be a part of a storied program. That's because last year she ran track for the first time ever. All she did was set a school record in the 4x400 relay, winning a state title in the process.
"Standing on that field and being a state champion...all the blood, sweat and tears was definitely worth it towards the end.
As if track and tennis aren't enough. "She's not only doing that but she's also juggling her studies," said Ashmus. "She's an A student. She's good enough to get an academic scholarship."
College will be taken care of thanks to her school work. Shah will attend Oberlin College where she will also get a chance to continue on with tennis. She will, however, carry on the same mind-set.
"(I) Kind of try to keep my grades and my school work first and tennis second, (I) try to balance it all."
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